Touring in the USA

We have been doing a bit of touring on the East Coast of the USA for the past 4 weeks for my daughter’s wedding – New York (freezing), Washington DC (weather bearable but still extremely cold) and New Orleans (warmer). We’ve been on planes, trains, buses and boats throughout our trip and experienced varying degrees of comfort from excellent to not-so-excellent, but accommodation-wise I can recommend Akwaaba Mansions

Akwaaba Mansion Brooklyn
Akwaaba Mansion Brooklyn
IMGP0219
Interior, Akwaaba Mansion, Brooklyn
IMGP0336
Statue of Liberty from Ellis Island, New York
IMGP0628
Mardi Gras Parade, New Orleans

in Brooklyn and Washington DC, the Fairmont in Washington DC and The Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Monique Greenwood, owner of the Akwaaba B&Bs in Brooklyn, Washington DC and another B&B in Pennsylvania, together with her husband Glenn, went out of their way to ensure our 10-day stay for my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding was without fault. Beautiful furnishings and home-cooked breakfasts (by Monique and Glenn) ensured out stay was excellent. They also provided a beautiful cake for the wedding and ensured the champagne was on ice ready for a toast after the ceremony. Glenn made sure the paths and steps were clear of snow and ice and even stayed out in the cold one night to make a snow sculpture. All-in-all a fantastic place to stay – truly 5-star accommodation. After visiting museums and art museums in New York, such as the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of the American Indian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, Ellis Island (where I found my great-grandparents’ immigration details) and seeing a wonderful show called On the Town on 42nd Street, we headed to Washington DC. We visited more museums, the Masonic Temple on 16th Street and took a Big Bus Tour combined with a fantastic night tour of the city’s monuments and memorials with Mary Klepper as tour guide before heading out on a day trip to Mr Vernon, the George Washington property.

From Washington DC we took the overnight train to New Orleans (something I would never do again) and arrived in the middle of a parade leading up to Mardi Gras. We sat in the station for several hours with other passengers until early morning because there were absolutely no cabs who would go into the French Quarter. Husband finally went out and found a cab 2 or 3 blocks away, got the driver to come back to the station and pick up our suitcases etc and all the way into the French Quarter he complained that he should never have gone to work that day etc etc. Anyway, everything turned out okay and our room on the second floor at The Hotel Monteleone was big and beautiful. Viewed the final parade for Mardi Gras which was a lot of fun, took a steamboat ride on the Mississippi River, did a cemetery tour which was very interesting and fitted in a visit to a Creole plantation called Laura. As I said earlier, all-in-all a great visit to the USA combined with a wonderful event – my daughter’s wedding.

UWS EucFACE experiment site

Visitors on Hawkesbury Valley Heritage Tours trips through the Richmond Lowlands and around UWS Hawkesbury Campus often ask about the experiments being conducted at the UWS EucFACE experiment site (Free Air CO2 Experiment). The experiment site is designed to predict the effects of rapidly rising atmospheric carbon dioxide on Australia’s native forests. This experiment aims to predict decades in advance the effects of exposure to rising CO2 levels on native forests, animals, soils and grasses. Check out the website about EucFACE at http://www.uws.edu.au/hie/facilities/EucFACE.

Image